The Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is a monumental basilica in Naples, one of the oldest in the city, located in the old town, near Piazza San Gaetano.
The religious complex houses the Museo dell’Opera di San Lorenzo Maggiore, which also includes access to the homonymous archaeological excavations.
The convent of San Lorenzo is adjacent to the church; some rooms inside the complex were intended to house the Museum of the Opera of the same name, while others still retain the original appearance, such as the Chapter Hall and the Sixtus V, both accessible from the monumental cloister. The area below the convent, however, is occupied by the archaeological remains of the ancient Roman forum.
The cloister of San Lorenzo Maggiore is an important testimony of the eighteenth century emerging on the remains of the Roman macellum. The cloister is characterized by a valuable marble and piperno well sculpted by Cosimo Fanzago and placed in the center of the courtyard, while along the walls are some funerary monuments of Renaissance workmanship. From the same cloister you can finally access the archaeological excavations of the basilica, the remaining rooms of the convent and the Opera Museum.
The Gothic portal offers the view of the original fourteenth-century wooden doors, each divided into 48 squares in a decent state of preservation. The facade dates back to 1742 in the Baroque period and is the work of Sanfelice.
The side chapels are sixteen in total, eight on the left and eight on the right, heterogeneous in taste and size, especially for the first of the nave, however not all filled with works within them.
All the side chapels are open on the nave through pointed arches, with the exception of the second on the right, which instead has a round marble arch in the Neapolitan Baroque style. The rooms mainly see the domination of the Gothic style, whose decorative works were carried out by artists of the French or Neapolitan school; other chapels are substantially bare, some have few fragments of cycles of fourteenth-century frescoes, Others, on the other hand, are part of the changes that took place in the centuries following the building of the church, thus exposing baroque works, such as the second chapel on the right, the first and the second on the left.